The Association of Hypnotherapy and Stress Management Ltd (AHSM) is different from some other professional bodies in the field in that it was formed by its members, for the benefit of its members and is run and controlled by its members within the rules agreed and voted for by its members. AHSM is a not for profit company limited by members’ guarantee and has no shareholders.
The Directors of AHSM, responsible for the day to day running of the company, are unpaid, although they may claim legitimate personal expenses. Each Director has a limited term on The Board of three years before standing for re-election. Any member may sponsor any other member (given their consent) to stand for election to the Board at an Annual General Meeting. Thus the AHSM membership genuinely has control over the management of the organisation.
Membership of AHSM provides a range of benefits: –
- The use of AHSM designating letters.
- Free entry on AHSM’s online public directory of Hypnotherapists and Stress Managers.
- Inclusion in any sales and marketing initiatives undertaken by AHSM.
- Free access to regular AHSM Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training events.
- Free access to the wealth of information being assembled for members only in ahsmtoolbox.org.uk.
- Access to free issues of AHSM’s Journal.
- Free professional advice and support from experienced members.
- Six monthly free stress checks with Fellow grade members.
- Access to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (previously known as Criminal Records Checks) at cost, with no fee from AHSM, to safeguard members working with children and vulnerable adults.
- Attendance and voting rights at AHSM Annual General Meetings.
- The opportunity to sponsor another member (given their consent) to stand for election as a Director of AHSM.
- The opportunity to be sponsored by another member to stand for election as a Director of AHSM.
Of course, AHSM membership also carries obligations: –
- Members must be recommended for membership by the Membership Secretary having produced evidence that they meet the membership grade criteria detailed below.
- Members must have no disciplinary or grievance hearing pending.
- Membership fees must be paid up to date.
- All members must abide by AHSM’s Codes of Conduct, Ethics and Practice.
- Members must participate in and keep records of regular CPD training, relevant networking and other activities that further their professional standing.
- Practising members (those seeing any paying clients) must have six monthly stress checks with a Fellow member, with one being face to face at least every two years.
- Practising members must demonstrate that they have Professional Insurance in place for at least £2 million, but preferably £5 million, covering any civil liabilities including professional indemnity, public liability, product liability, libel and slander.
- Practising members must maintain confidential and secure records of client sessions which meet the requirements of the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
- Should AHSM as a company limited by guarantee become insolvent, all members are legally required to contribute a statutory fee of £1.00.
There are four grades of membership of AHSM: Licentiate, Member, Fellow, and Life.
Licentiate (LAHSM) is open to those who are following, or who have completed, a programme of academic and vocational training in hypnotherapy and/or stress management at an AHSM approved training school leading to a qualification recognised in terms of hours of study, curriculum and national occupational standards by AHSM.
Membership (MAHSM) is open to those who have met Licentiate standards and in addition have been in practice for at least one year and have documentary evidence of seeing a minimum of fifty clients, showing case gains with at least thirty clients.
Fellowship (FAHSM) is open to those who have met Licentiate standards and in addition have been in practice for at least five years and have documentary evidence of seeing a minimum of two hundred clients, showing case gains with at least one hundred and twenty clients. Fellow Members must be willing to be consulted, on an occasional basis, by other members about professional matters and to conduct stress checks for other members under the direction of the Membership Secretary.
Life Memberships are awarded by the AHSM board at their discretion to outstanding, retired, long serving members who have made a major contribution to AHSM. Life Memberships are rarely awarded and are not open to applications.
In addition to the above membership grades, the Board may, at its discretion, invite leading contributors in the field of hypnotherapy and stress management to become Honorary Associates of AHSM, for example, heads of training schools and other professional bodies. Honorary Associates are not members of AHSM in terms of the benefits and obligations of AHSM membership. However, Honorary Associates may attend AHSM CPD training, Annual General Meetings (but without voting rights), have free access to the members’ areas of ahsmtoolbox.org.uk and ahsm.org.uk, and free access to publications of the AHSM Journal.
The Board may accept applications from interested members of the public to become Friends of AHSM. Friends are not members of AHSM in terms of the benefits and obligations of AHSM membership. However, Friends may attend CPD training, Annual General Meetings (but without voting rights), and have free access to publications of the AHSM Journal. Friends will not have access to the members’ areas of ahsmtoolbox.org.uk or ahsm.org.uk.
- The AHSM standard membership subscription is £84 per calendar year.
- At the discretion of the Membership Secretary, membership subscriptions may be paid by bank standing order at the rate of £7 per month. If a monthly standing order is unpaid, the outstanding balance of the annual subscription becomes payable immediately.
- Exceptionally, new Licentiate members undertaking AHSM recognised initial training, may pay £25 for their first year of membership. At the end of that first year subscriptions become payable at the standard rate.
- Life Members and Honorary Associates pay no membership subscription.
- The Friends subscription is £20 per year.
Details of payment methods are available from the membership secretary on application.